Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Busy with stuffs

I suppose there are two kinds of busy, one is when you’re like Oh my god, I have tons of work, can’t possibly finish all this..what am I gonna do??! The other one is like Hmmm, I’ll do this now and that later on, and I’ll have to do the exercise tomorrow afternoon… and then I’ll be done. Mine is probably the latter, though that still means I won’t be free. It came to a point when I did some maths work in my lecture, which I felt really guilty afterwards since I wasn’t paying attention to the lecturer. Wonder where that came from. When I was in MCKK I did maths and read novels in class all the time and was never bothered about it. One of my teachers commented on it in passing at one point. In retrospect, I wonder why he didn’t hate the snotty big-headed little brat that I was. Oh well…

I did pretty much the same thing at UTP. I got bored in one physics lecture and started to take out my maths book and do stuffs. The person behind me made some derogatory remarks which I can hear but pretended not to notice. It’s probably funny that we actually became friends afterwards.

So anyway, life has been a bit busy, but I don’t mind that much since the Easter holiday is coming up. Five weeks of pure bliss! I can’t fathom why Cambridge students get so much holiday time, even compared to other UK universities, which have very long holidays. Still, even if I don’t think it’s beneficial, I still won’t trade it with anything.

Currently we have the Experience Islamic Week in Cambridge, where there are talks and events for people to discover more of what Islam actually is, what with all the things that happen in the world now. I went to one of them, which is a talk given by three recently converted Muslims, all of whom are Cambridge students. That was very interesting. I also wanted to go to this one about Islam and science but I couldn’t because it clashed with a lunch with my tutorial group. It was okay though since the lunch was nice and I met a few people that I know but do not meet often due to our schedules. Kinda reminded me that I do have some very very nice friends in this strange world that is Cambridge.

I told a friend of mine about the lunch and he decided to go to it, even though he’s not in my tutor group. I thought he was joking, but he apparently was not, and I kept thinking he would sneak in and eat some food and leave or something like that. Instead, he walked to my tutor and chatted with her while eating the food. I had a laughing fit over that. Gosh, the audacity of some people! Thou have no shame, ha ha ha.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Internet Is For Porn

Ha ha, they’re at it again. I gotta watch this one.

P.S. FYI, the Magpie and Stump is a (humorous) debating society in Trinity College. Ever so often, they come up with crazy motions like this.

P.P.S. The date on the flyer is wrong. It should be this Sunday, the 25th.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Frank Morton

No lectures today. Everybody’s gone to play sports. Except me. I’m sitting in my room playing Worms while doing the occasional work…

Well, today’s the Frank Morton Sports Day. It’s basically a sports day for chemical engineers. This year it’s held at Manchester, so most chemical engineering departments of universities in the UK will send their flock of students there. Those taking part from Cambridge had to leave in a coach at four a.m. this morning. Good for them, I’d say. Volleyball is not contended, and for the life of me I don’t know how to kick a ball, so I’m not going. I’m sure they’re all having fun there, and at this time, they’re probably gone clubbing. Oh well… looking back, I can’t say today has not been a good day for me too. Got lots of work done, not to mention I’ve figured how to do my potato of death’s write-up.

I think they’ll probably arrive back in the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately for some, that means only a few hours of sleep before facing the 9 o’clock lab session. That includes my two lab partners. I doubt they even have time to read the lab manual. After all, who in their right mind will bring a lab manual to a sports day in Manchester?

I asked one of them yesterday, “You don’t hate it when you come to the lab unprepared and not know what’s going on?”

His reply, “Yaz, it’s the excitement of the unknown. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Yeah, try doing that for an exam.


Monday, February 19, 2007

May Ball

The tickets are on sale!!!

Okay, for those of you who don’t know, a May Ball is sort of an end-of –the-year event in Cambridge. Each college has its own May Ball, with the smaller colleges having it maybe once every two or three years, while the bigger (or richer) colleges like Trinity have it every year (okay, for those who don’t know, Cambridge is a collegiate university comprising of 31 colleges). You have to buy tickets to go to these balls, and Trinity May Ball, arguably being the most popular May Ball in Cambridge, is one whose tickets are most sought after. For Trinity tickets, you have to buy them in pairs, one for yourself and the other for your guest, which may or may not be a Cambridge student. So people often ask around for Trinity students with spare tickets. Heck, I even got asked for a ticket within the first week after I first arrived in Cambridge. I didn’t go last year though since I stupidly forgot about the May Ball while planning my trip to Hungary. A few people have asked me about the tickets this year. One even wanted to ‘book’ it for next year but I declined, just in case I find a special someone to bring to the ball at that time, he he.

Anyway, the ticket application process is now ongoing and the deadline is this Friday. A pair of tickets is £215 for Trinity students. I’m still thinking about it, but I might go, and I’ll probably give (which means sell, of course) the spare ticket to a friend. A bit pricey, especially if you multiply it by seven to convert it to Malaysian Ringgit, but I figured a Trinity student should go to the ball at least once for the experience. Otherwise, it’ll be a shame.

Other colleges also have their May Balls and they sometimes advertise it with posters and the like. I walked to lecture this morning and I saw these green balloons everywhere. Turned out they're advertising the Robinson May Ball. Ha ha, pretty cool.


Sunday, February 18, 2007


Hey ya! Guess what my culinary adventure is this time around? Ta da!

That’s right, cooking potatoes! I’ve decided to be British, so I have to master the art that is the making of potato dishes. After all, who doesn’t like potatoes? With their creamy taste and versatility, we can prepare hundreds of different dishes with potatoes. Mmmmm… =D =D =D

Just kidding.

Ha ha, it’s actually part of my latest chemical engineering exercise/coursework in analysing heat transfer. The lecturer(s) suddenly have this bright idea of making every student cook potatoes and determining their cooking time. I wonder if that has something to do with the lecturer being Irish. Though in their defence, it’s not a hard thing to do. In truth, you only have to cook one potato and find its cooking time to get the answer, though lots of my colleagues haven’t realised that. They also probably haven’t realised that the answer is in the notes already and this experiment is just sort of a check. Oh well…

Wonder what I should do with the potatoes afterwards? Hmmm, I can’t possibly eat them all. By the way, those in the picture are only of the 4 cm diameter. I still have a few more in the fridge in case I need to do further experiments. We’ll see how it goes.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Got It!

The rooms, I mean. The thing about the ballot is that they put the list of still available rooms on the web, so during the ballot you can see the rooms disappearing one by one as they are being chosen by students. An hour before the ballot I was staring at the computer refreshing the screen every now and then. My top choice was still there and I was fervently hoping that nobody would choose it. 30 minutes before my turn, a friend called and advised me to go to the accommodation office since the choosing process was unexpectedly fast this time around and if I don’t go soon I might miss my turn.

So I went there and true enough, my turn came just after a few minutes. I went in and the guy there asked me where I want to stay and brought up the list. As luck would have it, it’s still there, my top choice that is! Frankly, I was surprised nobody had grabbed it, all the other similar en-suite (with attached shower/bath) rooms in the same vicinity have been occupied. But oh well, I guess not everybody can afford to choose expensive en-suite rooms, though at around £800 a term, they really are much cheaper than London and the like.

On another note, yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and a funny thing happened during our biotechnology lecture. We were in the middle of it when suddenly a group of guys in white shirt and vests and hats started standing up and singing. It turned out a guy had sent those guys to sing to his girlfriend, who was in the lecture hall. It was really amusing to watch, though if I were the girl I would be terribly embarrassed.

On yet another note (I'm overdoing this, aren't I?), I’ve just finished book five in The Wheel of Time series, The Fires of Heaven. An amazingly good fantasy series, I highly recommend it. The thing is, the book was in my possession since December, and it’s really embarrassing that I only managed to finish it now. God knows what I’ve been doing all this while.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Catching Up and Choosing Rooms

Ho ho ho!

Hiya! It’s been awhile. Lately I’ve been busy with work, no thanks to the dreadful weekend. I was thrown out of equilibrium, and had some catching up to do. Luckily things have been under control a bit now, but the past few days were a bit hectic. In fact, yesterday was the first time this term that I had to do work after 9:30 p.m. Usually night time is the time for me to surf the internet and download stuffs, so it was quite annoying. But now I’m free!! Muahahahaha!

Tomorrow (or rather, today) will be the day of the room ballot. Basically, it’s the time when we get to choose our rooms for next year. I’ve been keeping an eye on a few rooms that have a shower (that’s a must) and in the centre of town. Some even have fridges inside the room! There are some room with baths instead of showers but I think baths are inconvenient, time-wise. Of course, I never actually had a room with a bath so I don’t really know how that feels like. Any opinion?

Ballot’s at 3 o’ clock today. I’m a Junior Scholar so my ranking is quite high (30th out of around 190) so there’s a good chance I can grab those rooms, if the other Junior Scholars don’t get them first. Anyhow, I’ll post again after it happens.

(Eager) Yaz.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pitcher Puzzle

It seems everybody I know is applying for banking internships.

I went to an internship fair last year to scope up what jobs are available for the summer. I wasn’t that serious because I’m almost guaranteed a job with my sponsor after I graduate and therefore is not in dire need of tons of work experiences gracing my CV. My friends, however, were another matter. So I went along with them, just looking around but mainly to collect the freebies that they give away at the fair, like mugs, umbrellas, pens, squeeze toys (don’t laugh!) and the like.

The thing we noticed is that since we are second year Chemical Engineering students, we’re not actually good or knowledgeable enough for serious internships at chemical companies. They usually take third year students, so we were only left with non-chemical engineering companies. That explains why every second year in my department applies to do banking.

A friend of mine just had his interview yesterday, in which he was asked a logical puzzle question. I just thought it’s interesting to put it here.

You have in your possession a 5 litre pitcher and a 3 litre pitcher. They both have no scales on them so you can only measure exact 5 or 3 litres of water. Given a supply of water, how can you make it so that you end up with exact 4 litres of water?

Note that if you pour water out of the pitcher, it will be gone because you don’t have anything to contain the water with. In other words, you can’t solve the puzzle by: “Filling the 5 litre pitcher, pouring it into the 3 litre pitcher, so you end up with 2 litres of water in the 5 litre pitcher, putting the 2 litres aside and repeating the process so as to have another 2 litres, which makes 4.” After all, then it would not be much of a puzzle anymore.

It took me two minutes to find a solution. Do have a go at it.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Is This A Science Lecture?

“… So largely, most of these models are a leap of faith rather than science…”

overheard today during biotech lecture about models of cell growth.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Drawing blanks

Don’t you hate it when you open up your work, read them a bit, and try to understand the bits and pieces but all that comes out are blanks? Isn’t it annoying when they all seem like Greek* to you?

I mention on the other post that I had a sore throat. Well, at some point last weekend it turned into a cold. What’s worst is that I have a deadline coming and I was planning on making full use of the weekend to finish the work but because I was sick I wasn’t able to think at all. It was frustrating.

Late Sunday night, I call my friend. Or rather, he called me to ask about the exercise. I told him that I have no idea how to proceed.

“Is it alright if I come over? I might need help on this one,” I said to him.

“It’s so unlike you.”

I ended up asking him about almost every step of the exercise. Usually, I don’t like doing that because it defeats the purpose of the coursework itself but at that time I was in a no position to argue. I just hope that later I’ll be feeling better after a good sleep and able to get my brain functioning.

I hate being sick.


The next morning. I woke up feeling refreshed, had breakfast and managed to finish a huge chunk of the exercise: some formula derivation using numerical integration together with an economic analysis. I even managed to do a ‘spare’ derivation using smaller step size for the integration which I can use instead of the first derivation if I feel like it. Ooooh, the joys of being well again and having your brains functioning back to normal. It feels gooood!!


* My lecturer made this joke while doing some formula manipulation which consists of loads of Greek letters. Okay, maybe it’s not a burst-your-stomach-laughing kind of joke but it’s still one of those thing that makes you smile, albeit often accompanied by a shake of the head.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


A friend of mine said the other day that he’s a non-conformist.

Well, since non-conformists do not conform to the rules and whims of society, then that means they are following a guideline which says do not follow the rules. Hence, by definition they are conforming to something, thus they are conformist. So, non-conformists do not exist.

Heh heh heh. I was feeling particularly evil.


Friday, February 02, 2007


I have a sore throat.

I'm feeling a bit better today but yesterday was really bad. It feels like a sharp object in my larynx.

At one point I couldn't stand it that I walked straight to Boots and bought some sore throat medicine. Ate three of them in a row, then I read the instruction and it mentions to take one dose every three hours.


Is it possible to die of sore throat lozenge overdose?